Using Technology to Communicate Care to Loved Ones

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VIRTUAL CARE FROM A DISTANCE

For many American homes, voice-controlled speakers and personal assistant devices have become a norm of convenience. From turning up the music volume to dimming lights, Amazon’s line of Echo products has become a source of home-living ease for many. 

However, an often overlooked benefit of the Echo product line-up is the added ease of daily living it can provide our aging adults. And, in the time of social distancing and medical isolation, these products are unique. For, they can also increase connection and interaction with our loved ones without the need to compromise safety.

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MULTIPLE DEVICES, SHARED ACCESS

One of the great features of the Amazon Echo line-up is that it allows users to have multiple devices in multiple homes. In brief, any device we set up for our loved ones can easily be set up under our current Amazon account with their own profile. Therefore, this gives us access to their lists, calendars, and more. 

This new device setup is simple, following the same procedures as the initial device setup, and can be done through our Alexa application. However, fuller guides are readily available should step-by-step help be needed.

Amazon has also released their Care Hub for an additional way to integrate devices. This maximizes care and communication between families without any overlap in Amazon accounts. 

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practical Needs

For many aging adults, daily tasks such as going to the grocery store or picking up the dry cleaning can be exhausting. In a time where, these activities are now more inaccessible than ever, having clear communication with family members is helpful. The Echo product line-up has excellent value in aiding in these communication needs

Grocery & Shopping Lists

Any loved one with an Echo device needs to alert the device (announcing “Alexa” is the default) and state that they would like to start a list. They then will work with Echo’s dictation system to verbally create these lists through their device. Users can also always ask their device reminders of what is on their lists, edit them, or delete them. We then have access to these lists through shared accounts or account access. Therefore, we can easily pull up any list they create through the app on our smartphone or tablet and even complete lists for them.

Appointment & Medication Reminders

Similarly, a user can create reminders and schedules through their Echo device. From daily medication reminders to adding doctor appointments to a schedule, these reminders can be a helpful tool. To create a reminder, a loved one simply needs to create it verbally through their device, and we can see and edit it in our own home. 

If access to our loved one’s full calendar is needed, we can easily link an existing calendar through Google, Microsoft, Apple, and more. Linking these calendar accounts will allow us to manage our loved one’s appointments through the Alexa app. Moreover, this enables our parents to access their calendar by simply verbally asking their device—no logging on, no daybook, no missed appointments.

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Connection BENEFITS

Along with the many day-to-day communication benefits the Echo products offer, there are various ways to use the Echo system to engage meaningfully with our loved ones. This can be especially helpful in a time of separation.

"Drop-in" Calls or Messages

One of the more popular features of an Echo is the ability to “drop-in” on a loved one. This is an intercom-style system that both parties must agree to and allows us to chat through our Echo devices without the need of calling. This can be a quick form of communication, act as a surprise visit, and even keep our loved ones safe. 

Or, if calling is more comfortable for the aging adult, anyone can simply use the Alexa feature on the Echo device to hands-free start a call with each other. 

Finally, we can send messages back and forth through our Echo devices or the Alexa app to another loved one’s device. We can even create schedules for these messages to be sent at a specific time. All of these options allow for moments of sweet connection without the need for phone or computer screens or schedules.

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Video Calling & Scheduling

Like any other appointment or scheduling task, our Echo product can easily record and remind a loved one of an upcoming video chat. Additionally, Amazon has released another Echo product level. The Amazon Echo Show series makes face-to-face communication even easier.

This product line is enabled with all the Echo features with the bonus of a video screen. Through the Echo Show device, make video calls to friends and family with Skype, the Alexa app, or an Echo Spot product. We can also make voice calls, send messages just like any other Echo device.

Recommended Products for Smart Home Living

Disclosure: We only recommend products based on our expertise in caring for aging adults. This site may contain affiliate links that (at no additional cost to you) we may earn an affiliate commission from. Read our full privacy policy here.

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Technology can improve Care

In a unique season, investing in technology that allows for simpler, clearer communication and care can undoubtedly curb a sense of loneliness and isolation. From having a better understanding of what ingredients a loved one needs for their recipe to a drop-in goodnight message, the Echo product line-up allows for an unprecedented level of care for unprecedented times. 

LOVED ONES WITH CAN REMAIN INDEPENDENT WITH THE HELP OF TECHNOLOGY

We want to connect with you to offer many products and solutions to assist you and your parent to keep them safe so they can maintain their independence at home as long as possible, even if from a distance.

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